Archive for 'people'

How to motivate and incentivise employees

Each employee is motivated and incentivised by different things. While some employees are more motivated by money, others might feel motivated when their work is recognised. It is important to try to understand what will best work for an employee and reward them accordingly to ensure productivity.

Providing an incentive will motivate certain employees to be more productive and produce quality work. There are various types of incentives that can be applied, such as bonuses or travel perks. These incentives give employees more to work for than their paycheck and act as motivation to put in extra effort in the work they complete.

Recognition can also be a powerful motivator. Identifying that an employee has completed their work to a good standard and acknowledging their efforts will motivate them to continue producing good work. Employees will also appreciate their employers noticing their efforts and feel that their work is relevant and integral to the business. If you notice that an employee is doing particularly good work, public recognition can also be extremely effective.

Employees who are self-motivated feel the same sense of accomplishment when they meet their own goals as other employees might feel when they meet company standards. For these people, company perks and incentives might not be as effective. Instead, discussing with these employees about their personal expectations and how they align with the business might be more effective. Therefore, these individuals would be working towards their own goals whilst achieving the business’ goals as well.

Before implementing any of these strategies it is useful to talk to your employees and get to know them. Alternatively, it might help to establish a business culture and hire employees who will respond to similar incentives so that you can utilise these for each employee rather than have a different one for each individual.

Posted on 2 December '20 by , under people. No Comments.

Responding to an underperforming employee

Given how confusing and stressful these times have been for individuals, you might find that employees are not performing at the standard you expect them to. This can prevent the company from meeting its goals and slow down growth.

It is important that you critique yourself before you start questioning the employee. The employee should be aware of what is expected from them, both in terms of role and the standard at which it should be completed. They should also be aware of the consequences of underperforming. You should also ensure that you are not expecting them to complete tasks which they have no training for, and be prepared to provide training if you find this to be the case. In some cases, the employee may not be aware that they are not performing to expectations, in which case, having a conversation with them might be more useful than confronting them about their failures.

Rather than confronting them emotionally, where the conversation is accusatory or potentially threatening, you should prepare what you have to say beforehand and keep it specific to their work and what needs to be done. This will help you address the exact issue of underperformance rather than getting sidetracked with any other factors.

As mentioned above, the current times have led to a lot of anxiety and stress throughout the public. This sheds light on the fact that an employee may be experiencing personal issues which are causing a decline in their performance. It might be worthwhile to discuss this with them. You may not necessarily be able to help, but it will help you understand the cause.

Creating performance goals that outline what tasks the employee needs to complete and what expectations they need to meet might be a helpful process. Through this method, you might be able to arrange follow-ups which can indicate to both the employee and you whether those goals are being met and what further steps can be taken if they are not. Additionally, if the goals are being met, then you should consider rewarding their improvement to let them know their efforts are valued.

While the above considerations and strategies are valid, you should also prepare yourself to let the employee go. You should learn from the experience and think about what you could have done differently as well as what individual circumstances caused underperformance in the employee.

Posted on 18 November '20 by , under people. No Comments.

Customer retention strategies

Retaining customers is just as important as acquiring new ones, if not more important. This is because unless customers had a negative experience with your company, they will use your services or buy your products again.

Here are some strategies you can use to retain your customers:

  • Observing customer behaviours: Analysing customer behaviour patterns will help predict customer needs and create services or products that respond to those needs. This could involve having a sale during periods when your customers show a tendency to engage with your company.
  • Targeted approach to customers: Collecting data can also help you personalise your approach to individual customers. For example, a certain demographic of customers may value free delivery, while others prefer discounted products. Ensure that you are making the best of the data you collect.
  • Create VIP programs: Rewarding customers that regularly buy from or use your services is important in making them feel valued. Create a VIP program that gives regular customers incentives and benefits so that they are encouraged to continue coming back.
  • Individualised communications: Interactions which are personalised have been found to be effective. This can start with something as basic as sending email campaigns that have the customers’ names.

Posted on 5 November '20 by , under people. No Comments.

Building a strong team

Individuals often need to come together to form a team in order to successfully accomplish tasks in the workplace. Employers should aim to build team cohesion so that team members are co-operating and working efficiently.

Employers should:

  • Encourage regular communication within team members. Simplifying the communication process for individuals so that they can keep team members updated with relevant information is important.
  • Establishing a set goal and allocating specific tasks to each team member will ensure that the team is working towards the same endpoint without clashing in the responsibilities they take on.
  • Identify and utilise individual strengths and weaknesses and assign responsibilities accordingly. This will provide individuals opportunities to work on certain skills with other team members who might excel in them.
  • Conduct team-building activities to assess how certain members work with one another. This will be useful when forming teams and allocating tasks.
  • Create teams that have a diverse range of individuals and skills. Teams benefit from different experiences which may assist in responding to problems with creative and out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Celebrate team successes when the team accomplished their task. When a team works together to successfully complete a task, their individual and team efforts should be recognised.

Building a team and ensuring that each team member is satisfied with their roles and duties within the team is an ongoing process. It requires employers to observe the team and how they are cooperating with one another, as well as engaging in regular communication with team members to assist with any issues that may arise.

Posted on 21 October '20 by , under people. No Comments.

Making employees feel valued

Statistics have shown that employees who feel valued are more motivated to perform their best. But how can a business make employees feel valued so that they can encourage this behaviour?

Recognition

It can be as simple as letting employees know that they are valued. This can occur one-on-one or in group settings. Vocalising appreciation of an employee’s work, as well as giving raises and bonuses are effective methods.

Feedback

Giving employees positive feedback (more than negative feedback) is a great way not just to show appreciation, but also to foster an environment that allows constructive feedback as opposed to criticism.

Communication

Keep open lines of communication with your employees, and let them know what the plans for the organisation are, when and if, possible. This improves the transparency, and lets employees know that they are trusted members of the business.

Right level of challenge

Designate tasks which show trust in an employee’s capabilities. These tasks can build on employee’s skills and encourage growth and development in areas where needed.

Attending to employee’s and their needs is important in letting them know that they are valuable members. This will not only improve their morale, but in the end generate productivity.

Posted on 6 October '20 by , under people. No Comments.

How to handle interview anxiety

An interview can be intimidating even if you are the perfect person for the job. Improving your performance during an interview can be a matter of learning to alleviate your anxiety.

Preparing for your interview can be extremely helpful.

  • Read about the company and what they do
  • Prepare your responses to common interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, plans for the future, etc.)
  • Remind yourself of the achievements that make you worthy of the job

Change your mind-set about the interview

  • Remember that the interview is the best time to understand whether the company culture aligns with your values
  • Think about it as an opportunity to learn more about the organisation, and not just an opportunity for them to interview you

Small details

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Set aside the clothes you’ll be wearing (Dress for success!)
  • Plan to get to the interview 15 minutes ahead of time

During the interview

  • Focus on your breathing to calm yourself
  • If you need, ask for a second to gather yourself
  • Take water with you and take small sips between questions

Posted on 24 September '20 by , under people. No Comments.

Making safer workspaces

As employees return to office spaces, there is a growing concern as to how employees can protect themselves at work. It is crucial that employers carefully plan their work spaces to minimise the risk of COVID transmissions. Consider the following essential ways you can adapt your workspace to protect your employees and customers during these risky times.

Physical distancing
One of the most essential recommendations employers should follow is making sure that there is at least 4 square metres of space per person. Consider making adjustments to the layout of your office space to allow workers to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from each other. These may include wall / floor markings and signage to keep workers aware of the distancing measures. It can be helpful to review tasks and events that require closer interaction, and map alternative ways to complete these tasks while still allowing social distancing to take place.

Close contact work
If the nature of the work your employees have to engage in requires close contact, then extra care needs to be taken to make sure that you minimise putting your employees at risk. Consider minimising the number of people within an area at any given time, and marking off certain areas of the workspace for essential employees only. Steps like staggering start and end times for shifts, encouraging employees to form teams with workers that need to work together, and moving each group to a different area of the office where they still have separate access to facilities can help minimise risk of COVID.

Sanitation facilities
It is important to train all employees on the hygiene practices that will be in place at your office space. Consider signage in washrooms on handwashing protocols, providing well-stocked bathroom facilities and providing hand sanitiser in appropriate locations such as entries and exits. Regularly empty waste bins and encourage ventilation by opening windows and adjusting air-conditioning units to stop them from recirculating the same air.

Cleaning the office space
It is recommended that workspaces be cleaned at least once a day, and commonly used spaces are disinfected as regularly as possible. If your business is more customer-oriented, it may be useful to clean and disinfect more frequently. Surfaces that are constantly touched, like door handles, phones, EFTPOS machines, toilets and buttons should be disinfected as frequently as possible. Consider encouraging workers to disinfect their regularly used items like glasses and phones.

Personal protective equipment
Consider providing employees with PPE like masks, gloves and eye protection equipment to foster safer work conditions. It can be useful to consult with employees about the types of PPE they prefer, to ensure that their areas of concern are being addressed. If employees work in close proximity to each other or with customers where interaction time is longer, it can be useful to install screens or sneeze guards to shield workers from droplets. However, employers must remember that these screens also need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Posted on 20 August '20 by , under people. No Comments.

Avoiding costly mis-hires

There is a growing demand for new employees as businesses open their doors again. However, a bad hire can damage the reputation of your business, impact the work environment and may force you to restart the recruitment process. Small businesses can be especially impacted by the significant expenses involved in hiring new employees. Business owners may want to consider using the following tips to avoid employing a bad hire.

Developing a culture fit
You may find that your business has a unique corporate culture that your employees thrive in. The best way to assess this is to have your team members meet the potential hire to allow both parties to understand the kind of culture that exists in your workspace.

Using this information to screen potential employees during interview stages improves your chances of finding a candidate who is likely to fit well into your team.

Role definition
While a culture fit is more likely to screen candidates who fit within your business’ values, it is key that your new hire is able to succeed in their actual responsibilities. Consider reviewing your job posting to make it more specific, relevant and gives the candidate a clear idea of what they can expect from this role. The job description should ideally include more specific key technical competencies, necessary soft skills, expected deliverables and revenue targets that the hire is expected to meet in that role. Detailed job expectations can also help in evaluating the employee’s performance in the future.

Effective on-boarding
If a new hire seemed like a good fit, but is not performing well, employers may want to examine the on-boarding process within the company. Failures in the on-boarding stages can include a lack of communication or expectations from the employee to work independently and without guidance within the first few weeks of employment. Consider communicating clear deliverables and establishing a point of contact for the employee for any support. Your new hires can also be a valuable source of feedback on your on-boarding process and help you identify gaps in your hiring stages.

Handling mis-hires
Finally, some businesses may still find that they ended up with the wrong person for the job. Hiring managers often have a large responsibility in hiring the wrong person, so treat termination as your last resort. Before immediately removing a poor fit from your business, consider having a conversation with the employee about their issues with meeting their deliverables. Some issues can be solved with appropriate skill training and workshop sessions, or simply moving them to a more suited role within your company.

Posted on 7 August '20 by , under people. No Comments.

How to build a successful virtual team

As the pandemic pushes businesses to run their usual operations online, it can be hard to make sure that your virtual teams are working efficiently and productively. Here are some tips to ensure your employees are communicating and working effectively despite being physically distanced.

Use multiple communication tools

The best way to make sure your team members are staying vocal and communicating with each other while physically apart is to use online communication tools. With the surge of digital communication technologies, remote team-building has become much easier as there are a multitude of social platforms to choose from.

Using business messaging platforms as well as programs for conference calls and screen records is helpful in establishing methods for how employees can share their ideas. Setting up different communication channels for separate teams and projects can also help in keeping your digital workplace organised yet communicative.

Include overlapping work hours

Although it may be tempting for employees working from home to work around their own personal schedule with flexible hours, it is important to schedule your employees with overlapping hours so that they can communicate effectively, similar to regular in-office operations. Having your employees work in-real-time together will help prevent miscommunication problems, quick task completion and bring them closer together.

Work with a schedule

Similar to overlapping working hours, the flexibility that comes with working from home may mean employees become unorganised and unaware of their team member’s roles and tasks. As a result, it is important to create a working schedule which all employees have access to and must follow. Constructing a routine for employees to work with, especially in the case of regularly scheduled meetings, reviews and catch-ups, will help employees remain productive and conscious of usual business operations despite being online.

Posted on 22 July '20 by , under people. No Comments.

The value of hiring older workers

Increasing life expectancy and late retirements mean that businesses need to be ready to welcome more mature-aged workers into their organisation. Workers aged 50 and over are often overlooked by hiring managers, but diversifying your workforce to include this age group could be greatly beneficial to your business.

Saving costs

Businesses are likely to see lower rates of sick leaves and higher loyalty rates amongst mature-aged workers. These low turnover rates can save your business costs relating to recruitment and training, and increase productivity within your workforce.

Customer representation

If your target audience includes an older age demographic, it may be more beneficial to have older employees working for you. By including mature-aged employees, you gain their perspectives of your product, and key insights into how to make your business more attractive to an older customer base.

Upskilling the team

Teams with diverse age groups perform better in the workplace. Older workers are equipped with a wealth of knowledge and skills that younger workers may not have. Less experienced members on your team are likely to learn new skills faster with older mentors on board. This can also help prevent the loss of key skills when older employees transition out of the workforce.
As a result of their experience, older employees are also more adaptable to change and high stress situations, and fill skill gaps in the workplace which leads to more well-rounded teams.

Work ethic

Older employees have a more stable work-life balance. Years of working has provided them with a strong work ethic, and an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. Their work experience helps them perform better in diverse environments, and they have high conflict resolution skills. If your business involves meeting clients, older employees might be more successful by being confident and reassuring from a customer perspective.

Posted on 8 July '20 by , under people. No Comments.